Joseph Gillow.

A literary and biographical history, or bibliographical dictionary, of the English Catholics, from the breach with Rome, in 1534, to the present time .. (Volume 3) online

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of the departed appears the name of Brother William Grene-
wode. Chauncy states that this poor lay-brother succumbed
to his terrible sufferings on the 6th of June, within the octave
of his incarceration.

Havensuis, Historica Relatio duodceim Martyrum Cartusia-
norum, ed. 1753, p. 70; Morris, Troubles, First Series;
Sanders, De Schismatc Anglicano, ed. 1585, p. 7S.

Grene, Christopher, Father S.J., son of George Grene,
and his wife Jane Tempest, who had left England to reside in
the diocese of Kilkenny, was born in 1629. He was brought
up by his parents in Ireland until his thirteenth year, when he
was sent to the English College, S.J., at Liege, where he
remained five years. He then, at the age of eighteen, was
admitted into the English College, Rome, Oct. 20, 1647.
There he was ordained priest, Sept. 7, 1653, and was sent to
the English mission, April 8, 1654. Four years later, Sept. 7,
1658, he entered the Society of Jesus.

It was probably about the time that Fr. Grene joined the
Society that he returned to the Continent. Dr. Oliver states


that he was at Rome in 1666, when he renewed his inquiries
amongst the oldest of the Oratorian Fathers at Chiesa Nuova
and St. Girolamo, concerning St. Philip Neri and the scholars
of the English College at Rome. Fr. Christopher became
penitentiary at Loretto in 1682, which he changed for that of
the Vatican in 1686. He relinquished the latter position in
1692, and was appointed confessor at the English College,
Rome, where he died Nov. 1 1, 1697, aged 68.

Fr. Morris says that he was a great lover of the English
martyrs, and that he has done more than any other man to save
the records of their sufferings from perishing, and to transmit
to futurity materials for the history of the times of persecution
in England.

Oliver, Collectanea S.J. ; Morris, Troubles, Third Series ;
Foley, Records S.J., vols, hi., vi., and vii.

1. The following account of Fr. Grene's MS. collections is extracted from
Fr. Morris' " Troubles," Third Series :

" Varia de persecutione in Anglia et martyribus," fol., marked A., collected
by Father Cresswell, now broken up or lost.

" A number of papers, letters, &c, of the Persecution, &c," fol., marked B.,
at present in the Archiepiscopal archives of Westminster.

A fol. vol. marked C, now at Stonyhurst, containing Fr. Gerard's Gun-
powder Plot, &c.

" Miscell. Transcripta ex variis autographis," 4to., marked D., of which
the only portion known to exist is Fr. Gerard's autobiography now at Stony-

A vol. marked E., now at St. Mary's College, Oscott, the most interesting
portions of which form the first part of Fr. Morris' " Troubles," Third Series,
under the title "An Ancient Editor's Note-Book."

A vol. marked F., now in the archives of the English College, Rome.

A vol. marked G., now unfortunately lost or broken up. A considerable
portion of its contents was in Spanish. It contained the " Opus imperfectum
de vita Campiani," by Fr. Persons, the original of which, perhaps the docu-
ment itself, is now in the Stonyhurst collection, Angl. A., vol. ii. n. 14. It also
contained an article " De editione Concertationis Anglicana, opus imper-
fectum Personii."

A vol. marked M., in three parts, containing the chief portion of Fr.
Grene's transcripts, one part only being now at Stonyhurst.

A vol. marked N., in four parts, now bound in 2 vols., at Stonyhurst,
containing Fr. Grene's earliest notes.

A vol. marked P., in four parts, in two large 4to. vols., now at Stonyhurst,
containing Fr. Grene's transcripts from FF. Persons, Garnett, &c.

Grene, Francis, priest, brother to FF. Christopher and
Martin Grene, S.J., was probably educated at Valladolid or


Lisbon. In a MS., marked Rawlinson D 173, in the Bodleian
library, entitled "The names of those Cl(ergy) that dyed after
Mr. Holt's being Secretary (of the chapter)," is the following
entry which may refer to the subject of this notice — " 1673,
stilo novo, April the 1 7, dyed Mr. Francis Greene, in Holborne,
a grave vertuous man."

Dr. Kirk notes that a Francis Greene was confessor for many
years to the English Benedictine Dames at Ghent, who were
always under the jurisdiction of the bishop in whose diocese
they lived. When incapacitated from the performance of his
religious duties by age and infirmities, he was assisted by the
Rev. Richard Daniel, who succeeded him after his death to the
chaplaincy. Dr. Kirk gives no dates, but this Francis Greene
probably died in the early part of last century.

Oliver, Collectanea S.J., ed. 1845, p. 107 ; Kirk, Biog. Collect,

MS., No. 20.

1. The Voice of Truth; or, the Highway leading to True
Peace. (Ghent) 1676, 181110. A translation from his brother Martin's " Vox
Veritatis," MS.

Grene, Martin, Father S.J., son of George Grene,
probably a member of one of the Yorkshire families of that
name, and his wife Jane Tempest, was born in 16 16, in
Kilkenny, Ireland, whither his parents had retired, it is said, on
account of persecution. There his elder brother Thomas was
born, as well as his younger brother, Fr. Christopher Grene, S.J.
After studying his rudiments in Ireland, he was sent to St.
Omer's College, and became a member of the Society in 1637.
In 1642 he was a professor at the College of Liege, and
at different times served the offices of prefect of morals,
minister, consultor, socius, and master of novices in the various
colleges on the Continent belonging to English Province, S.J.
In 1653 he came upon the English mission, and in the
following year, Dec. 3, 1654, was solemnly professed of the
four vows. At that time he was in the Oxfordshire district.
After twelve years of missionary work he was recalled to
Watten to take charge of the novices, and died rector there,
Oct. 2, 1667, aged 5 1.

Dr. Oliver eulogizes his discreet zeal, unaffected piety, and
varied talent and erudition.

Oliver, Collectanea S.J. : Foley, Records S.J., vols. iii. and vii. ;
De Backer, Bib. Ecriv. S.J.


i. An Answer to the Provincial Letters published by the
Jansenists under the name of Lewis Montalt, against the Doctrine
of the Jesuits and School Divines ; made by some Fathers of the
Society in France. There is set before the Answers in this
edition "The History of Jansenism," and at the end "A Con-
clusion of Work," where the English Additionalls are shewed to
deserve no answer ; also an Appendix shewing the same of a
book called "A further discovery of Jesuitisme." Paris, 1659, 8vo.

The translation of Blaise Pascal's work was entitled " Les Provinciales :
or, the Mysterie of Jesuitisme, discovered in certain Letters written upon
occasion of the present differences at Sorbonne, between the Jansenists and
the Molinists, from Jan. 1656, to March, 1657, N.S., displaying the corrupt
Maxims and Politicks of that Society. Faithfully rendered into English,"
Lond. 1657, iSmo.; Lond. 1668, 8vo. John Evelyn also published a trans-
lation, Lond. 1664, 8vo. This was translated, apparently by an English
divine, notwithstanding the censures and condemnation of Alex. VII., which,
says the Jesuit translator of " The Discourses of Cleander and Eudoxe," in
1704, "his moral divinity found a way to render them of none effect ; and
that was to change their name [The Provincial Letters] into that of the
Mistery of Jesuitism. Upon the appearance of this book, it was thought
advisable to apply the same antidote here, that had had pretty good effect
abroad against the spreading poison ; and so the French Answer to Pascal
approved of by the Archbishop of Mechlen, and grand vicar of Lidge, in
1657, was done into English ; together with an answer to the Additionals to
Pascal's Letters. That was the work of Mr. Martin Green, and who read it
must own it is judiciously, solidly, and unanswerably done. But then you
must be told, that this his work was printed at Paris in 1659, a time when all
things were in the greatest confusion here, occasioned by the different designs
and conduct of Monk and the Rump. Hence it came to pass that very few
copies of it could then be imported to ballance the influence of that said
Mystery, or that of White's disciples in the new Art of Obedience and

In 1651, Le P. Deschamps, jesuite, published " La Politique secrete des
Jansdnistes," which was translated into English by Fr. Thos. Fairfax, S.J.,
when the controversy about Jansenism was renewed in the beginning of last
century, under the title " The Secret Policy of the Jansenists, and the Present
State of the Sorbonne, with a Short History of Jansenism in Holland," 2nd
edit. 1702 (Dodd and other authorities say 1703), 241110. For the contro-
versy thus commenced between the English Jesuits and seculars, see under
T. Fairfax, T. Eyre, S.J., A. Giffard, R. Gumbledon, E. Hawarden, S. Jenks,
J. Sergeant, R. Short, T. Southcot, F. Thwaites, H. Tootell, Whittenhall,
R. Witham, &c.

2. An Account of the Jesuites Life and Doctrine, by M. G-.
Lond. 1661, i2mo. pp. 149.

Fr. James Forbes, S.J., Superior of the Society in Scotland, in a letter
addressed to the Father-General Paul Oliva, dated April 10, 1680, says,
" When I presented to his Serene Highness, the Duke of York, a book for
his casual reading, which many years ago had been written by a certain
Father Grene, in English, and which treats admirably of our institute, life,

E 2


and doctrine, the prince and his wife were so taken with reading it, that they
wished me, as I had only that copy, to have another published, asserting that
he would take care that so excellent and important a book, especially for
these times, should be reprinted."

3. Vox Veritatis, seii Via Regia ducens ad veram Pacem. MS.
This treatise was translated into English by his brother, Francis Grene,

and printed at Ghent, 1676, 24mo.

4. The Church History of England, MS., commencing with the
reign of Hen. VIII. The first volume of this work was ready for the press
when death arrested the progress of his labours. Fr. Bartoli was indebted
to Fr. Grene for much of the information regarding English affairs in his
'• Dell' Istoria delia Compagnia di Giesu LTnghilterra parte dell' Europa,.
descritta dal P. Daniello Bartoli, della medesima Compagnia," Roma, 1667,
fol. pp. 620. Three of Fr. Grene's letters to his brother Christopher on this
matter are preserved in the Stonyhurst MSS., " Anglia," vol. v. n. 67. They
have been reprinted in Bro. Foley's "Records S.J.," vol. iii. Dr. Oliver,
" Collectanea, S.J.," ed. 1845, p. 107, appends an important note from the pen
of a learned theologian upon Fr. Grene's advice as to the necessity of weighing
and collating Acts of Parliament, especially regarding the subject of Anglican

Grene, Nicholas, priest, confessor of the faith, a Marian
priest, was committed to the Ousebridge Kidcote, York, in
1566, where he lingered until his death, about 1 5 7 1.

Morris, Troubles, Tliird Scries.

Greswold, Robert, martyr, or, as the name is often spelt,
Grissold, belonged to an ancient yeomanry family, seated at
Rowington, in the parish of Henley, six miles from Kenilworth,
co. Warwick, and descended from the Greswolds of Kenilworth
and Solihull. In 1716, John Grissold, of Pinley, the adjoin-
ing hamlet to Rowington, yeoman, registered, as a Catholic,
his property at Rowington. Another member of the family
held property at Wootton-Wawen and Studley. Richard Gres-
wold, who was ordained priest at Rheims in 1586, and after
.serving the mission for many years was banished in 1606, was
probably a member of the Solihull family. John Grissold,
who was so ill-used in the Tower in the same year, and at one
time was reported to have died under torture, very likely was a
brother of the three old bachelors of Rowington, and perhaps
father of the subject of this notice.

At this period there were three unmarried brothers of the
name of Greswold residing together at Rowington, Robert,
Henry, and Ambrose. They were staunch Catholics, and were
of ereat service to the missionaries in that district. Unhappily,
they were betrayed by a nephew, one Clement Greswold, who


searched their house with a constable named Richard Smith,
and apprehended a priest named John Sugar as he was leaving
Rowington by the highway accompanied by a cousin of the
betrayer, Robert Greswold, another nephew of the three old
bachelors, and servant to Mr. Sheldon, of Broadway, Wor-
cestershire. " Cousin, if you will go your way you may," said
Clement ; but Robert replied, " I will not, except I may have
my friend with me." The two were consequently taken before
Mr. Burgoyne, a Warwickshire justice, who committed them to
Warwick gaol. There Greswold was offered a means of release,
but his regard for Mr. Sugar and his zeal for martyrdom would
not allow him to accept of it, and he remained in prison for a
whole year.

The two prisoners were arraigned at the Warwick assizes,
July 14, 1604. Judge Kingsmill asked Greswold if he would
go to the Protestant church, and the following colloquy ensued :
" I will not, my lord." " Then thou shalt be hanged," quoth
the judge. " I beseech you, my lord, let me have justice, and
let the country know wherefore I die." " Thou shalt have
justice, I warrant thee," said the judge, " and the country shall
know that thou diest for felony." " Wherein," asked Greswold,
" have I committed felony ? " " Thou hast committed felony,"
the judge replied, " in being in the company, in assisting and
relieving a seminary priest, that is a traitor." " I have not
therein committed felony," the prisoner answered. One of the
justices of the peace then said, " Grissold, Grissold, go to church,
or else, God judge me, thou shalt be hanged." " Then God's
will be done," the prisoner replied. After that the judge again
asked him if he would go to church. " I have answered you,
my lord, enough for that matter ; I will not." " Then thou
shalt be hanged/' said the judge. " I crave no favour of you,
my lord, in this action." "What ! " said his lordship in a great
rage, " dost thou crave no favour at my hands ? " " No, my
lord, I crave no favour at your hands in this action." There-
upon the judge condemned him to be hanged for accompanying,
assisting, and relieving a seminary priest. Whilst pronouncing
judgment, it is recorded, his voice faltered and his hands
trembled. The following day he sent for the prisoner to his
chamber, and offered him his life if he would promise to go to
church, which Greswold utterly refused to do.

The ancient manuscript quoted by Dr. Challoner, and sup-


posed to have been written by an eye-witness, describes at
length the martyr's demeanour on the morning of his execution.
He suffered at Warwick, with Mr. Sugar, July 16, 1604.

Challoner, Memoirs, ed. 1742, vol. ii. pp. 5, 8 seg. ; Harl.
Soc, Visit, of Warwickshire ; Payne, Eng. Cath. Non-Jurors ;
Morris, Condition of Catholics, p. 181 ; Foley, Records S.J., vol. iv.
P- 373 > Douay Diaries.

Grey, John, O.S.F., martyr, is said by Bourchier and other
authorities to have been a Scotchman, but Fr. Anthony Parkin-
son asserts that he was born of a noble English family.

In his youth John Grey relinquished a large fortune and
the high position to which he was born in order to embrace
evangelical poverty. He became a Franciscan in the convent
at Greenwich, where he remained until its suppression by
Henry VIII., Aug. 11, 1534. Fr. Grey then found a refuge
in Catholic Brabant, and eventually was elected a canon of
Anderlecht, now a suburb of the capital of Belgium, where the
beautiful church, dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul, still remains.
When Queen Mary succeeded to the throne, and restored the
Franciscans to their convent at Greenwich, John Grey resigned
his canonry, and rejoined his brethren in their ancient monas-
tery, in the hope of spending his days, as Fr. Gonzaga says, in
" peace and safety." This was not to be, however, for shortly
afterwards the queen died, and her successor, Elizabeth, having
firmly seated herself on the throne, expelled the friars and
suppressed the monastery at Greenwich, June 12, 1559.
Fr. Grey, with one or two others, retired to the convent of his.
order at Brussels, where he soon acquired a great reputation
for sanctity among his brethren.

During the absence of Don John of Austria the Protestants
took possession of Brussels, and the radical section of the
party, known as les Gnciix, were indulged in the most horrible
excesses, and encouraged to put a stop by violence to the cele-
bration of Catholic worship. At length, on June 15, 1579, a
furious mob was gathered together and led against the friary.
Mrs. Hope, in her " Franciscan Martyrs," graphically describes
the attack. " The porter, Br. James, happened to be an
Englishman. As soon as he caught sight of the mob he had
the presence of mind to shut and barricade the doors, so that
they long resisted all attempts to break through them. He


then ran to the cells of the brethren and warned them of the
imminent danger. Hastily collecting the altar plate and the
few other articles of value which they possessed, they prepared
to fly by a door at the back of the house before the mob should
have time to surround it, and to carry with them F. Grey, who
was very infirm. He was now seventy years of age, and was
very reluctant to quit the holy house in which he had long

dwelt under the same roof with his Lord Fifty years

had passed since he had first been driven from his home in
Greenwich, and during all that time the crown of martyrdom
had been the object of his ceaseless aspiration. How, then,
could he fly, now that it was unexpectedly within his reach ?
He refused to go with his brethren. He pointed out to them
the great risks that they ran in their flight, and exhorted them
to remain with him instead of rushing upon the death which
probably awaited them in the street. ' Let us stay in God's
house,' he said. ' Where can we die so happily as in the
presence of the Blessed Sacrament, on the holy spot where we
hope to be buried ? ' But all in vain. They would scarcely
listen to him, and as time pressed, they hurried away. The
English friar, Br. James, who also had long cherished the hope
of martyrdom, alone stayed behind with F. Grey. The mob
at last succeeded in breaking into the priory, and, finding it
empty, they rushed to the church, where they beheld the two
English friars on their knees before the altar of the Blessed
Sacrament. They first attacked Br. James, and beat him till
he lost consciousness, and they thought he was dead. They
then fell upon F. Grey, beating him, and heaping on him the
vilest abuse. He, not knowing what else to do, humbly begged
their pardon, and besought them not to be so cruel to a poor
old man. But the ruffians cried out, ' What ! shall we pardon
thee, thou wretch of a friar ! ' One of them then drew his
sword and struck him a mortal blow on the head ; whereupon
he said sweetly, ' I forgive you the wounds that you inflict on
me,' and expired."

" When the news of what had happened was known in the
the city," Mrs. Hope continues, "crowds assembled, weeping
and lamenting the death of such a saint ; and, as in the case of
the martyrs of old, there was a pious contest to get hold ot
anything that had been sprinkled with his blood. There hap-
pened then to be in the town a man who was dying of an


incurable disease. On hearing of the death of F. Grey, he
begged to have something dipped in the blood of the martyr
brought to him. When he beheld it he knelt down and kissed
it with the greatest possible reverence ; and scarcely had he
done so, when lo ! he was snatched from the brink of the grave
and perfectly cured. The news of this miracle spread the fame
of F. Grey's sanctity far and near."

Fr. Grey was deemed a martyr in defence of the Blessed
Sacrament, and the veneration in which he was held by his
fellow-citizens is recorded by numerous contemporaries.

Bourchier, Hist. Ecclcs., p. 127; Parkinson, Collect. Anglo-
Minoritica, p. 254 ; Hope, Franciscan Martyrs, p. 8 1 ; Leydan,
Hist. Passionis Novorum, p. 66 ; Strype, Annals of the Reform.,
ed. 1735, vol. i. p. 141.

1. Fr. Francis Gonzaga in his history "De Origine Seraphicae Religionis
Franciscanae," p. 104, distinctly says that Fr. Grey was Scotch. In a list of
benefactors to the Scottish Seminary ultimately established at Douay, Dr.
Oliver, under his notice of Fr. Hippolitus Curie, "Collectanea S.J.," ed. 1845,
p. 18, includes the name of the Rev. John Grier, " de familia Lagne in Scotia
canonicus ecclesiae S. Petri in Anderleb, in Flandria prope Bruxellas." The
Doctor does not give his authority for the quotation, but it appears almost
certain that "Grier" and "Anderleb" are errors for Grei and Anderlecht.
Dr. Oliver's note was followed by the Rev. James Aug. Stothert, formerly a
Catholic priest in Scotland, whose MS. collections have been edited by the
Rev. J. F. S. Gordon, D.D., Minister of the Episcopalian Church of St.
Andrews at Glasgow, under the title of " The Catholic Church in Scotland,"
ed. 1869, p. 539.

There is a manuscript account of Fr. Grey's martyrdom preserved in the
Burgundian Library. The Martyrologies and the Bollandists assign his death
to the 5th of June, yet all the more recent authorities place it on the 15th,
and make the series of disturbances which culminated in his martyrdom com-
mence on the 6th. See two interesting letters on this subject in the Tablet,
vol. lv. pp. 214, 271.

Griffyn, or Griffyth, John, a Premonstratensian canon
of the abbey of Hales-Owen, in Shropshire, was a native of
Wales, and was educated in the college of St. Bernard in the
north suburb of Oxford, Wood was unable to say what degree
he took, as several of his name proceeded in canon law and

He was a very pious and learned man, and his eloquence in
the pulpit had gained him a wide reputation. On this account
the reformers in the reign of Edward VI. were most anxious to
secure the weight which his name would add to their theori
Fr. Griffyn was little acquainted with the ways of th world,


and at first very nearly fell a victim to their subtilty, but as
soon as he became aware that the so-called reformers were in
reality introducing a new religion, he at once declared his faith
in the one holy Catholic Church, and showed himself proof
against any temptation, to the great joy of the staunch

The date of his death has not been ascertained, but it is
certain that he remained constant to the end, contenting him-
self on the small pension allowed him upon the dissolution of
his monastery. He was living in 1550, and is thought to
have witnessed the restoration of religion under Queen Mary.

Pitts, De Must. Angl. Script., p. 739 ; Wood, AtJicn. Oxon.,
ed. 1 69 1, p. 64 ; Dodd, Ch. Hist., vol. i.

1. Conciones iEstivales, 121110.

2. Conciones Hyernales, nmo.

3. He is also said to have written other works.

Griffyn, or Griffyth, Maurice, last Catholic bishop of
Rochester, a native of Wales, was educated by the Dominicans,
or Black Friars, and for some time studied in the convent of his
order in the south suburb of Oxford. He was admitted to the
reading of the sentences in July, 1532, and took his degree of
B.C.L. in the following February. On April 9, 1537, Maurice
Griffyn, S.T.B., was admitted to St. Magnus the Martyr, near
London Bridge. Later he succeeded Nicholas Metcalf as Arch-
deacon of Rochester.

When Queen Mary ascended the throne, he joined with others
in a petition to Cardinal Pole, the papal legate, for absolution
from the penalties he had incurred through his adhesion or
submission to the schism of the two preceding reigns. In
March, 1554, Cardinal Pole formally granted him absolution,
confirmation, and dispensation, and on April 1, in that year, he
was consecrated Bishop of Rochester, by Stephen Gardiner,
Bishop of Winchester, assisted by the Bishops of London and
Durham, in the church of St. Saviour, Southwark. On the
1 8th of that month he received restitution of the temporalities
of the See, and on the following July 6 his appointment was
confirmed by the Pope in consistory, when the See was described
as previously vacant, the Edwardian bishop, John Scorey, and
other bishops during the schism, being ignored.

Bishop Griffyn died in his palace at Southwark, Nov. 20,

Online LibraryJoseph GillowA literary and biographical history, or bibliographical dictionary, of the English Catholics, from the breach with Rome, in 1534, to the present time .. (Volume 3) → online text (page 7 of 77)